Bladder cancer is the most common form of cancer that starts in your bladder cells. Bladders are muscular organs inside the lower abdomen, which stores urine.
- Bladder cancer typically occurs in the bladder cell (urothelial cells) found inside the bladder. Urothelial cells also reside in your kidneys, as well as those tubes (ureters) which connect your urinary bladder to your kidneys. Urothelial cancer may occur in the kidneys and the ureters; however, it’s more prevalent in the bladder.
- Most bladder cancers are discovered in the early stages, which means it is curable . However, even bladder cancers in the early stages may recur following successful treatment. Because of this, patients who have bladder cancer usually require periodic tests following treatment to determine if there is bladder cancer that has recurred.
The signs and symptoms of the cancerous bladder could be:
- The presence of blood in the urine (hematuria) can cause the urine to appear bright red or cola-colored, but sometimes, it seems normal, and blood is detected in the results of a laboratory test.
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
- Back back pain
When is the best time to visit a doctor?
- If you suspect that your urine is discolored and you are worried it could be contaminated with blood, you should make an appointment with your physician to check it out. Also, schedule appointments with your physician for any other symptoms or signs which make you nervous.
- It is a condition that occurs when bladder cells undergo modifications (mutations) within their DNA. Cells’ DNA contains instructions telling the cell what it should do. The changes tell cells to multiply quickly and continue living as healthy cells cease to exist. The abnormal cells develop into tumors that may infiltrate and destroy the body’s normal tissue. Over time the abnormal cells may disintegrate and then spread (metastasize) throughout the body.
Different types of bladder cancer
- Different types of cells inside the bladder could develop into cancerous. The kind of bladder cell in which cancer develops determines the type of cancer found in the bladder. Doctors use this information to decide which treatments are most effective for you.
The types of bladder cancer that are present include:
- Urothelial cancer. Urothelial carcinoma, earlier referred to as transitional cell carcinoma, is found in the bladder’s cells. The inner lining of the bladder. Urothelial cells increase when you have a full bladder and shrink when your bladder is empty. The same cells cover the inside of the ureters and the urethra. Cancers may develop in these areas too. Urothelial cancer is by far the most prevalent kind of bladder cancer found in the United States.
- Squamous Cell Cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma is frequently associated with discomfort of the bladder due to an infection or prolonged use of the urinary catheter, and Squamous bladder cancer is sporadic within the United States. It’s more common in regions in the globe where specific pathogen (Schistosomiasis) is the most common reason for bladder infections.
- Adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma begins in cells responsible for glands for mucus secretion in the bladder, and in bladder is extremely uncommon.
Some bladder cancers are more than one kind of cell.
Factors that increase the risk
Smoking. Smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars may increase the chance of bladder cancer because it causes toxic chemicals to build up in urine. Your body processes chemical compounds in the smoke and eliminates some into your urine if you smoke. These harmful chemicals can cause damage to the bladder’s lining and increase your risk of getting cancer.
Males are more likely to develop prostate cancer. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with it than females.
Exposure to a specific chemical. Your kidneys play an essential role in removing harmful substances from your bloodstream and then transferring these into the bladder. As a result, it’s believed that exposure to certain chemicals could increase the chance of developing bladder cancer. Chemicals linked to bladder cancer include arsenic and chemicals used in the production of rubber, dyes, textiles, leather, and paints.
Treatment for cancer in the past. Firstly treatment with the anti-cancer drug cyclophosphamide can increase the chance of developing bladder cancer. Patients who have received radiation treatment that targeted the pelvis for primary cancers have an increased chance of developing it.
Chronic bladder inflammation.
Chronic or repeated urinary inflammations or infections (cystitis) can occur with long-term use, or a bladder catheter can increase the chance of developing a bladder squamous cell cancer. And in certain regions in the world, Squamous cell cancer is caused by chronic bladder inflammation caused by the parasite-infected infection called Schistosomiasis.
A family or personal background of cancer. If you’ve had bladder cancer, then you’re more likely to be diagnosed with it again. Suppose any or more of your relatives, such as a parent, sibling, or child, have a bladder cancer background. In that case, you could have a higher chance of developing the condition, even though it’s not expected that bladder cancer is found within families. The family’s connection to Lynch syndrome, also referred to as hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal carcinoma (HNPCC), is a risk factor that can increase the chance of cancer developing within the urinary system and in the uterus, colon, and ovaries, as well as other organs.
While there’s no way to guarantee to avoid bladder cancer, you can take steps to decrease the risk. Examples:
- Don’t smoke. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do, consult your doctor about a strategy to help you quit. Groups of support, medication and other methods can aid you in stopping.
- Be cautious around the use of chemicals. If you work with chemicals, be sure to follow the precautions to avoid exposure.
- Choose from a range of vegetables and fruits. Choose a diet that is rich in vibrant foods and fruits. The antioxidants present in fruit and vegetables can lower your cancer risk.